Fran Ryan

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Fran Ryan
Born Frances Mary Ryan
(1916-11-29)November 29, 1916
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died January 15, 2000(2000-01-15) (aged 83)
Burbank, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1922–1993

Frances Mary "Fran" Ryan (November 29, 1916 – January 15, 2000) was an American character actress featured in television and films. She was born in Los Angeles, California. She often played parts of women on opposite ends of the social spectrum.


Ryan began performing at the age of 6 at Oakland's Henry Duffy Theatre. She attended Stanford University for three years, and during World War II was a member of the USO entertaining troops. She performed comedy, singing and acting on stage in California and Chicago and launched her television career two decades later. Her television debut came in episode 43 of Batman, in 1966, followed by a bit part in Beverly Hillbillies.

Ryan's first supporting cast television role was as Aggie Thompson in the first several episodes of The Doris Day Show. The same season she was offered the replacement role on the series Green Acres as Doris Ziffel from 1969 to 1971. Ryan replaced Barbara Pepper, who was in poor health and died five months later of heart ailments, on July 15, 1969. Ryan also starred on the long running TV Western series Gunsmoke during its twentieth and final season as Miss Hannah (Cobb). In 1987, she reprised the role of Miss Hannah in the TV movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.

Ryan played the role of Rosie Carlson in the soap opera Days of Our Lives (1976–1979) and Sister Agatha in General Hospital in 1989. She also did voices for cartoons such as Hong Kong Phooey, Mister T and Little Dracula. Fran starred on some TV shows for children like Sigmund and the Sea Monsters in 1975 as Gertrude Grouch, and in 1970s children's show New Zoo Revue as Ms. Goodbody, the 1980s TV series No Soap, Radio as Mrs. Belmont, the short lived 1980s CBS TV series The Wizard as Tillie Russell from 1986 to 1987. Her last regular TV role was on The Dave Thomas Comedy Show.

She appeared in many feature films, including Big Wednesday (1978), as Frank & Jesse James' mother in "The Long Riders" (1980) Take This Job and Shove It (1981), Pale Rider (1985), Chances Are (1989), and a cameo appearance in 1981's Stripes, as a cab fare to Bill Murray as the cabbie, in the opening scenes of the film. Ryan made many guest appearances on TV shows, including Batman (episode 43), Adam-12, CHiPs, Quantum Leap, Night Court, Taxi, Baywatch and The Commish.


Ryan died on January 15, 2000, at age 83. She is buried in the family plot, alongside her mother Mary, at the Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery, Hayward, California.[1][2] Fran Ryan had one child, a son, Christopher.

Selected filmography[edit]


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